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In the world, there are various types of sovereignty. In most general maps of the world, outer boundaries of main sovereign powers are shown. However, in international law, there are many kinds and degrees of sovereignty. All of the area contained within a country's borders is not necessarily controlled by the country, and in most cases, large portions are not. The League of Nations council recognizes the quasi-sovereignty (that is, a high degree of autonomy) of nations within nations. In many cases, it is also often deemed legal for a province or semi-autonomous region to cecede from the nation it is in, if that decision is supported by 75% or more of the general population in a referendum.

Below are a few examples:

The "Grand Canyon International Park" has areas located within two nations. Most of it is in the semi-autonomous Hopi Nation, which is located within the larger nation of Utah. The rest is located in the semi-autonomous Navaho Nation in Apachea. On a general map of nations, one would only see "Utah" and "Apachea". However, Hopi and Navaho have considerable sovereignty. Still, this sovereignty is part of constitutional agreements, which means that, however unlikely, this semi-autonomy could be taken away. However, the "Grand Canyon International Park", which is within these areas would be a sovereign entity (in this case, an International Park) no matter what constitutional changes were made, or borders changed. This is because these countries only have nominal control over the Grand Canyon. It is up to them to protect it from any threats in most cases (though international troops can be called in, too, with or without permission from Utah and Apachea). Basically, the Grand Canyon is owned by the international community, and no operations to change the landscape can be done without permission from the international league.

Many other natural areas like in the above example exist. Giving one more example, the "Three Gorges International Park" is completely within the nation of Jonggwo. However, it is an international territory, and, like the Grand Canyon, cannot be altered without the consent of the international community. Thus, while nominally under Jonggwo sovereignty, in practice, it is under international sovereignty (which generally means that it will be left natural).

This not only applies to natural areas. For example, the Andaman Islands, including North Sentinel Island, is shown as a part of India on general maps. However, the Andaman Islands is an internationally protected cultural area, and is thus not under Indian authority in practice. In the same way, North Sentinel Island is as sovereign as any nation in the world, as the residents fire arrows on any intruders.

A final example is that of Brunei, which on simplified maps seems to own the whole island of Borneo. However, in fact, Bruneian authority extends to less than one-fifth (20%) of the landmass of Borneo, with the other areas split into cultural and environment preserves.

Besides the simplified maps, there are more and more maps available showing all sovereign territories, though this is daunting, as there are so many sovereign and protected areas. Many such maps are available on the internet, which aids in that it is possible to hide a sovereign entity until the map has been zoomed in to a certain extent.

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